A hot new pizza restaurant, Nomad Napoletana, has turned up the temperature on an iconic stretch of Polk Street. It’s the third iteration of a pizza concept started by Liberty Powers, originating with the Pizza Nomad food truck in 2018 and followed by the brick-and-mortar Pizzeria Nomad near 34th and Georgia in 2020.
That location is more of a take-out concept, but the new Nomad Napoletana downtown extends Powers’ east coast-style pizza into an upscale dining experience.
Nomad Napoletana opened on Sept. 25 at 614 S. Polk St. in the space that formerly housed Charlee’s Chicken and, before that, Polk Street Eats. “It’s not as much of a fast-casual concept,” says Powers, comparing it to the previous tenants. “I think of downtown as being a destination—more of a date-night destination.”
At dinner, every table receives a complimentary dish of stecca, a bread Powers describes as a Sicilian version of the baguette. Drizzled in olive oil and served with tender, spreadable garlic confit, the melt-in-your-mouth appetizer is already proving popular with patrons.
The restaurant’s scratch-made meatballs, another appetizer, are braised in California tomatoes and tomato sauce all day and served with a dollop of ricotta. “It’s also an East Coast-type thing, but the dollop of ricotta really balances the sweetness and acidity together,” he says.
As for the pizza, Powers and his team cook it at temperatures above 1,000 degrees in an authentic, wood-fired, stone-hearth pizza oven imported from Modena, Italy. The pies served at Nomad Napoletana only come in 16-inch diameters. (The take-out location on Georgia serves 12-inch pizzas.) Most of these light-crust pizzas feature traditional toppings, but for Brick & Elm he served the Brisket Pizza, with provolone cheese, cream sauce, balsamic redux and pepperoncini. “It’s very … beefy,” Powers says with a grin. “I chose the brisket because I feel it really resonates well with Amarillo. It’s not very East Coast at all.”
For dessert, we enjoyed the rich Basque Cheesecake.
A first for the Pizza Nomad family, Nomad Napoletana also features a full bar with cocktails, draft beer and wine. “We have a pretty extensive Italian wine selection. Those are things I wasn’t able to offer at Georgia Street,” he says.
Beyond dinnertime, the restaurant also offers a lunch special from 11 to 2, featuring pizza-by-the-slice, allowing downtown office workers to get in and out quickly.
Nomad Napoletana is open daily except Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.